The Case for the Centuryfortress: Defining the B-52J

It seems increasingly likely that there will be a B-52 flyby for the retirement of both the B-1 Lancer and the B-2 Spirit. The venerable bomber, which first flew in 1952, remains the primary component of the USAF’s bomber force for both nuclear and conventional missions. Lacking the stealth of the B-2 and the speed of the B-1, the B-52 remains a frontline combat aircraft because of its exceptional range, unmatched versatility, and flexible payload options.

Now is Exactly the Right Time to Retire the Predator

In a recent FoxtrotAlpha post, Tyler Rogoway criticized the Department of Defense, and the Air Force in particular, for its decision to retire the MQ-1 Predator by 2018. Rogoway argued the Air Force plan to replace the MQ-1 with the MQ-9 Reaper and reduce its Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Combat Air Patrols (CAPs) from 65…

Strategic Architectures

“Salvo Competition.” “Third Offset Strategy.” “Air-Sea Battle.” “JAM-GC.”[1] The DoD is brimming with warfighting concepts, often anchored on technologies we have yet to fully develop. Many of the concepts depend on US technological superiority to dominate tactical-level engagements, though they do not necessarily demonstrate how victorious engagements lead to strategic success. While an exploration of…

Ghost Fleet and Airpower

Peter Singer and August Cole’s new novel, Ghost Fleet, has become a critical darling in beltway defense circles. Called “useful fiction” by the authors, its exhaustively-researched details aim to paint a picture of near-future great-power conflict, earning favorable comparisons to Tom Clancy’s Cold War masterpiece Red Storm Rising.

Was the Air War in Libya a Victory?

In 2011, during the heady early days of the Arab Spring, a coalition of a dozen Western and Arab states led by France, Britain, and the United States conducted a seven-month military intervention in Libya that led to the defeat of Muammar Qaddafi’s dictatorial regime. A newly-released study of this campaign describes in detail why…